European Championships – Day Three Semifinals: On Short Rest, Kristof Milak Earns Top Seed For 100 Butterfly Final

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European Championships – Day Three Semifinals: On Short Rest, Kristof Milak Earns Top Seed For 100 Butterfly Final

As the European Championships moved into the weekend and the third day of competition, four semifinals events dotted the Saturday schedule. Battles for finals slots were held in the women’s 200-meter freestyle, men’s 100 butterfly, women’s 50 backstroke and men’s 200 breaststroke. Those semifinals were complemented by championship races in eight events, most notably the men’s 100 freestyle. That event featured David Popovici’s chase for the world record, which he narroly missed during Friday’s action.

Here is a look at what transpired in the semifinals at the Foro Italico in Rome.

Women’s 200 Freestyle

Already the champion in the 100 freestyle and the anchor of two victorious relays, Marrit Steenbergen looked comfortable in her semifinal of the 200 freestyle, as she touched the wall in 1:57.40. The Dutchwoman earned the top seed for Sunday’s final and was followed into the medals race by Germany’s Isabel Gose (1:57.70) and France’s Charlotte Bonnet (1:57.73). Great Britain’s Freya Anderson was fourth in 1:57.76.

Gose was the runnerup in the 800 freestyle on Friday, finishing behind Italian Simona Quadarella, while Bonnet was the silver medalist behind Steenbergen in the 100 freestyle.

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Men’s 100 Butterfly

Just 14 minutes after her claimed the silver medal in the 100 freestyle with a sterling performance of 47.47, Hungarian Kristof Milak returned to the pool and led qualifying in the 100 butterfly. Milak, who finished behind David Popovici and his world record in the 100 freestyle, delivered a semifinal time of 51.01 for the fly. The reigning Olympic silver medalist and European record holder in the event, look for Milak to be considerably faster in the final.

Booking Lane Five for the final was Switzerland’s Noe Ponti, who touched the wall in 51.16. He was followed by the Netherlands’ Nyls Korstanje and his effort of 51.46.

M100FlySemi

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Women’s 50 Backstroke

The battle for the European title in the one-lap backstroke is being led by Italian Silvia Scalia, as she paced qualifying in dominant fashion. Scalia covered a length of the pool in 27.39, which was well ahead of the matching 27.68 swims of Great Britain’s Medi Harris and France’s Analia Pigree. European-record holder Kira Toussaint of the Netherlands will be a factor in the medals race, as she checked in fourth in 27.84.

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Men’s 200 Breaststroke

Finland’s Matti Mattsson, who was the bronze medalist in the 200 breaststroke at the Tokyo Olympics, advanced to the finals as the top seed behind a time of 2:09.88. The speed required to reach the final was relatively slow, as 2:11.73 was enough to move into Sunday’s action. Following Mattsson in the second spot was Italian Luca Pizzini, who checked in at 2:10.48.

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